When it first unveiled the offset SC design at NAMM two years ago, Martin wanted guitarists to re-think what was possible on an acoustic guitar.
Featuring a bold cutaway that grants unprecedented upper fret access for an acoustic, the SC line – which was expanded with the unveiling of the SC-10E, SC-13E Special and SC-13E Special Burst in January – was a significant step for the storied company.
With that in mind, earlier this spring Martin launched – in partnership with Guitar World – the No Limits Challenge, an exciting competition where eight up-and-coming guitarists face off against one another, covering tunes one wouldn't normally associate with an acoustic using a Martin SC model.
For the quarterfinal round, the eight competitors were split into four genres – funk/R&B, '80s rock, '90s rock and classic rock. Sophie Burrell, R.J. Ronquillo, Helen Ibe and Gretchen Menn advanced from there to the semifinal round, which features two more genre-based face-offs.
Who decides the winners, then? That distinction belongs to you, the reader! Take a look at the two performance videos below, and cast your ballot for your favorite in the box at the bottom of the article. It's that simple.
Last week's first semifinal saw Helen Ibe advance to the final round with a riveting acoustic blues instrumental. This week, meanwhile, sees Gretchen Menn and Sophie Burrell boldly re-imagine two hard-riffing power pop classics.
Above, Menn adds some flash to Weezer's mid-90s smash, Buddy Holly, while below, Burrell puts her own spin on the Kaiser Chiefs' mid-aughts UK chart-topper, Ruby.
So, which is the better, more exciting and innovative performance? That's for you to decide. Cast your vote below.
For more info on Martin's SC acoustics, visit the company's website.